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Advocating for those living with accessibility needs. Sharing experiences, raising awareness and understanding of how assistive accessible technology enhances and enables those in need.


Is your window open to inclusion?

Is your window open to inclusion?
Accessibility - Able to be reached, approached or entered via Oxford Dictionary  I found myself in the world of accessibility almost by accident.  I did not even realise I had specific accessibility needs until I began to go blind. In real terms I have accessed the world very differently to most because of need, however, I wonder how many really understand that they too use lots of features in accessibility. It seems that until things become "trendy" or "cool" they are sadly not in the majority of mindsets, so do we try to make accessibility trendy or just hope it becomes a part of early training and education? Can we really wait for "trendy" as our ageing population increases and their reliance on the ability to access life independently increasingly looks toward technology? Accessibility is not just about those with disabilities, it is for us all.   I myself have life...
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Bali - Sound Sensations

Bali - Sound Sensations
At the end of my work and networking trip to the other side of the world, Mum and I made a trip to the beautiful Bali to spend the last 10 days relaxing. Arriving in Bali was surreal, it was very dark outside, I hate arriving anywhere in the dark as I see so little.   Our body clocks were already extremely confused! The intense humidity hit us as we looked for our taxi service.  We were met at Denpesar Airport by a sweet Balinese gentlemen dressed in traditional Bali attire, I felt quite important when Mum pointed out this man who was stood waiting for us with a banner with our names on it.  This lovely man spoke perfect English and without much of an accent too so I was able to understand him quite easily, accents can be a problem for deaf people, thankfully for me, not this time. ...
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Australia's 10th National DeafBlind Conference 2016

Australia's 10th National DeafBlind Conference 2016
I was flattered to be invited to speak at this conference a year ago.A trip to Australia, a presentation and to meet others living with similar challenges to my own, an opportunity not to be missed. The journey was long and testing, but it was worth it to be a part of such a great event.I was annoyed with myself that I was unwell but my excitement drove me on. Senses had made every effort to make this conference fully accessible for all in the DeafBlind community- I was extremely impressed.There was good lighting, there were On Stage interpreters, hand on hand interpreters, finger spelling (HoH) interpreters, STTR (Speech To Text Relay) screens reasonable sized screens, black background and white large text positioned on either side of conference room, and finally a generous amount of staff and volunteers who were there to ensure full inclusion. "Wow" I remember thinking. Australia...
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Qcon San Francisco 2016

Qcon San Francisco 2016
I was flattered to be considered to speak at Qcon San Francisco this year. To discuss accessibility challenges for people living with similar challenges to my own but to make it more technical than I usually would.  I was delighted to be in a position to ask for help from my friends at Sigma with whom I work alongside from time to time. Chris Bush and I set about putting together a great presentation that would make the audience of digital giants, designers and developers simply consider accessibility, it’s importance and relevance in the world of technology. Chris is the first person I have ever done a joint presentation with and I have to say I enjoyed it, he brought technical expertise and I feel we both complimented each other very well.   Qcon was enormous, the biggest event I have ever been to.  In one of the largest hotel’s I’ve...
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GDS - Looking at the shades of grey

GDS - Looking at the shades of grey
I was invited to the Second Cross Government Accessibility Meetup as a guest speaker in the summer, so took time out to travel up to Leeds.  Another great opportunity to speak about the importance of accessibility for all on all Government websites. I found it very refreshing that those attending were very positive about making a difference.   I think it is much harder for people who do not rely on specific accessibility features to completely understand and absolutely impossible to be completely up to speed with all disabilities and impairments. I cannot speak for all, however, I can advocate for many living with my condition and for conditions with similar challenges.   Whilst Usher Syndrome / deafblindness might be considered a rare condition a lot of the challenges I experience now could well be challenges for everybody at some stage in life particularly with ageing. I was born deaf so...
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